DIY coop

Discussion in 'DIY / Self Sufficiency' started by lovechicks1293, Aug 5, 2016.

  1. lovechicks1293

    lovechicks1293 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Okay, so, I'm getting chicks this spring for the first time and i am i somewhat charge of building it with my twin sister (see Elpaint03).
    Anyone got any ideas for DIY chicken coops for two young teens to make? I've checked the coop forum and I've got some ideas but i would like some more simpler ones, preferably with blueprints of some sort. Thanks![​IMG]
  2. 21hens-incharge

    21hens-incharge Flock Master

    Mar 9, 2014
    Northern Colorado
    Since you are in Michigan you will probably need a structure of some sort. Do you have someone that can help out with construction? I am talking like power saws and such.

    Budget is important. Many people build super coops but they can be expensive. Hoop runs are not as expensive as ones that are squared off.

    How many chicks are you going to need to house? The structure size will be determined by that.

    Do you have breeds chosen? Some have special needs in the winter.

    Personally I like the hoop runs since the cattle panels are strong and when you add a tarp in the winter the snow slides off easily.

    I have found that I preferred a coop that I could walk into to clean it and spend time with the chickens.

    This picture is of the hoop run for some adopted chickens. It is 8 feet wide by 9 feet deep and 6 feet tall. I used cattle panels (2 of them) and chicken wire. The base is made from 2x6 that is cut to 9 foot long and one cut to 8 foot to make the end with the door. The door and frame are made from 2x4 and some hardware cloth I already had. The coop it is attached to is 8 feet wide by 6 foot and stands 7 foot tall. That way I could get the run attached to the coop under where the coop roof hangs over on the run side.

    This is the same coop from the side so you can see the human door. It is smaller then a house door and I have to duck to go in. I am only 5 foot 4 inches so this is a small house.


    I shopped very carefully and still spent about 600 dollars to make this coop and run. I even had some materials already here.

    I am not sure what kind of coop you are looking to make but thought you should know what some of the potential costs are.


    This is a small coop that is raised 2 foot off the ground. It still cost about 350 to make. The fencing was already mostly there so that cost was for the coop. It is 4x6 and could hold 5 hens comfortably. Being small made things challenging like cleaning and where to put the food and water in the winter.

    I hope this helps you somehow.
  3. lovechicks1293

    lovechicks1293 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thank you this has given me some ideas to work with![​IMG]
  4. 21hens-incharge

    21hens-incharge Flock Master

    Mar 9, 2014
    Northern Colorado
    If you draw your plans up on graph paper it may help make things concrete for you. I burn through a lot of graph paper with ideas and plans. Much cheaper to make mistakes on paper then with wood lol.

    I am looking forward to seeing what you and your sister decide to do.
  5. afishl1

    afishl1 Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 7, 2013
    If this hasn't been mentioned, a few nice additions depending on your situation that I have done are:

    1. automatic coop door that opens and closes according to light conditions (I used an AC to DC transformer instead of a battery and put it on an outlet timer so that its not running at night)
    2. a fan to circulate air into coop especially if its hot out
    3. nipple waterer system
  6. CLSranch

    CLSranch Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 23, 2015
    NE OK
    I work construction and just took a large box from work to make a coop/tractor. If you are limited on funds and don't have that many chickens this is a great way to save money. I got the idea off the Coop forum between 2 tractors. 1 built out of a box and 1 all new wood. Different floor plans that I'm just mixing together. You can also just get wood from construction site trash by stripping pallets, concrete workers leave 2x12s that have been used once. That saves ALOT of money. Just stain and or paint to make last. Beats buying treated lumber.
  7. lovechicks1293

    lovechicks1293 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thanks for the advice guys! I'll draw up a plan today if I have time ( we are closing our pool today and it can take a while ) but I'm sure i will have plenty of time.
  8. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Flock Master

    Nov 7, 2012
    How many birds? My suggestions for an easy to manage coop: Walk in. Lots of ventilation. Lots of natural lighting. Outside access nest boxes. 1/2" hardware cloth over all openings including ventilation and windows. Plan on a minimum of 4 s.f. in coop/bird. If you build it with the plan to be able to accommodate a broody hen and chicks, or to divide a section off for addition of chicks or other birds in the future, you will be well ahead of your game, instead of building to accommodate present needs, and then wishing you had more room in the future. Realize that the birds you have in the spring, may not be the same birds you have 3 years from now.

    To make it easy to keep clean: Soil floor allows for trouble free deep litter system. You will not have to buy shavings. Just keep adding natural yard debris: leaves, grass clippings, etc. to a perpetual compost system in the coop. Harvest compost as needed for gardening needs. Odor free. You will need to install a skirt around the coop to keep predators from digging into the coop. And you will need to build it such that the bottom framing is off the ground so it doesn't rot. Be sure you place your coop in an area with good drainage. If drainage is lacking, you will need to fix that before you build.

    To keep costs down: start collecting hardware and windows, and possibly doors before you start the construction. That way, you can frame it up to take advantage of your free materials. My coop which can be seen in my interview at bottom of signature is styling with free thermopane windows and door picked up at town dump. All other framing should be done with planning to use material with minimum of cuts. For example: If you build a 4 x 8 shed style, you could do floor, back wall and end walls with a minimum of cuts. Hardware can get very expensive. If there's a Habitat for Humanity re-store near you, look for discounted materials there. Typically up to 75% discount.

    Finally, look for an already existing building that you could modify to meet your needs. It's amazing what a little paint, a few shingles, addition of a few windows could accomplish with the most basic shed.
  9. lovechicks1293

    lovechicks1293 Chillin' With My Peeps

    I am planning on starting out with one for each member of our family (6) but I'm sure that we will get more later on, i don't think my parents would like just having dirt/deep litter flooring i think they want to install an actual floor with wood on it, even though we have plenty of dirt to go around. lol. we already have some big wood and like, one window but i think that is a good start. i drew up a couple of coop designs i like but i haven't shown my parents yet... oh well i will eventually
  10. lovechicks1293

    lovechicks1293 Chillin' With My Peeps

    also i could use some hints on coop planning. like, what would you have changed if you had the choice? what are some of your coops best features that you put in? stuff like that. thanks in advance!

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